Province finances affordable co-op housing in Burnaby

THE Province, through BC Housing, has partnered with the Community Land Trust of B.C. (CLT) and the City of Burnaby to preserve 425 units of affordable co-operative housing for seniors and people with low incomes.

“Our government knows how valuable affordable housing is for communities like Burnaby, which is why the Province is stepping in to secure these three properties,” said Anne Kang, MLA for Burnaby-Deer Lake, on Monday. “With this purchase, these 425 co-op units will continue to make a big difference in the community, providing quality, affordable housing options for people with a range of incomes.”

BC Housing provided approximately $132.6 million, including $22.5 million for renovations and closing costs, to the CLT to finance the purchase of three co-operative housing buildings located at 9380 and 9390 Cardston Court and 4221 Mayberry Street. By providing financing for this purchase, BC Housing and its partners have ensured the buildings will continue to provide affordable housing for co-op members.

Financing is being provided through the HousingHub, a BC Housing program that works with communities, along with non-profit and private-sector developers, to increase affordable rental housing and home ownership options for middle-income British Columbians.

“This is a historic achievement for the Community Land Trust to acquire and preserve 425 co-op homes in the city of Burnaby,” said Tiffany Duzita, Executive Director, CLT. “Many partners and their respective teams made this happen under an unprecedented timeframe. Words cannot thank enough all those involved, especially the boards of 115 Place and Post 83 Housing Co-ops, who believed in and trusted us to succeed.”

The City of Burnaby is contributing $29.8 million toward the purchase. Through this contribution, the city will own the Mayberry Street property and will lease it to the CLT for a nominal fee for 60 years.

“Co-op housing plays an essential role in the housing mix in our community, and the City of Burnaby is proud to be part of this partnership that will ensure the residents in these buildings feel secure in their homes,” said Burnaby Mayor Mike Hurley. “Most of the 26 housing co-operatives in Burnaby are now older housing stock, and one of our priorities is to encourage the development of new projects as well as the renewal of existing co-op housing.”

The property and buildings were purchased from the Operating Engineers’ Pension Plan (OEPP), which provided low-cost co-op housing for 41 years and worked closely with BC Housing and the city to ensure tenants would be as protected as possible.

Post 83 Co-operative Housing Association and 115 Place Co-operative Housing Association will continue to manage the buildings, as they have since 1980.

“My community office has been working closely with residents from Co-op 115 since 2017 and know that having secure and affordable housing is critical to their well-being,” said Katrina Chen, MLA for Burnaby-Lougheed. “Thanks so much to the Community Land Trust and the City of Burnaby for working with us to secure these homes and ensure they’re not lost to redevelopment. We know there is more work to do, but we are making progress with more than 2,400 new affordable homes open or underway in Burnaby.”

Established in 1993 by the Co-operative Housing Federation of BC, the CLT is a social-purpose, non-profit organization that fosters diverse and sustainable communities and initiatives for today and tomorrow. The CLT acquires, develops and stewards co-ops and community-led housing and spaces. Its team of skilled industry leaders focus on creating and advocating for inclusive communities that members and residents are proud of. There are 2,863 non-profit and co-op homes in the CLT’s portfolio plus an additional 19 retail units.

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